D é N O U E M E N T S

TRAILER: La Memoria Del Muerto by Javier Diment

Javier Diment outstanding penchant for psychological thriller tinged with bloodbath, eye-shutting images and eroticism has gained the South American director a place among the daring new directors of the genre (see: Beinase or The Sense of Fear). Even a Fangoria article compared Diment to the Japanese cinematic extremist Takashi Miike. The television filmmaker has been part of a retrospective in his native country focusing on horror and supernatural movies and has won some prestigious awards, recently for working with fellow Fernando Spiner for screenplay (Aballay, El Hombre Sin Miedo).

In his biggest project to date, Diment spools the terrifying story of metaphysical realms between the dead character Jorge and his undead friends heading to suffer the same fate in La Memoria Del Muerto (The Memory of the Dead). It is said that the story kicks off 49 days after Alicia’s husband’s death where she called forth Jorge’s friends to read the posthumous letter he left. Plotting with his bestfriend Santiago, Alicia performs ritualistic killing rampage in expense of the guests believing it will bring back the dead back to life. Genre elements full of dark and horrific images are all over the trailer and will surely haunt audiences even just by a peak of it. If the scene of a man diving to a hollow pool and eventually breaks his skull is not enough, wait for that last frame of a “woman” at 1:11. La Memoria Del Muerto written by Martin Blousson with performances by Rafael Ferro , Lola Berthetand Ana Celentano.

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MNL 143 Straight to DIY After Cinemalaya Snub

After the much publicized disqualification from Cinemalaya this year due to disagreement between the festival heads and MNL 143‘s director Emerson Reyes on casting, the former dropping the film from its New Breed Category for failing to star actors with “greater audience acceptability,” the people behind the movie try to triumph over the controversy by winning on two terms. First by having it made outside of Cinemalaya’s yard and second through maintaining Reyes’ original choice of actors to lead their parts. Now, being given the complete prerogative on how MNL 143,  the movie will have to see itself to the end slashed of the budget that it was originally written for. Reyes and his team decided to bring their case to the audience-funding Artisteconnect (similar to Kickstarter) to raise financing totalling to P143, 000 for the last few shooting needed to round up the project. So far, the group has been pledged P32, 000 (23%) before its March 31, 2012 deadline. Details of how to support and the requisites are found on the film’s page. For support regarding the reformation of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, sign up here.

From MNL 143’s page:

Project Description

A long FX ride from Buendia to Fairview. Approximately 20 Kilometers on the road where different life stories race to be told: responsibility, morality, integrity and reality. Familiar stories, some you’ve already heard of on street corners from friends and neighbors. Stories of ordinary people as they struggle with hope, resignation and compromise.

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WATCH: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

One of the surprises at the last Oscars ceremony was the triumph of William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg in Best Animated Short over Pixar’s La Luna by Enrico Casarosa. I have not seen the latter but after watching The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore I somehow had an inkling why the Academy chose the Moonbot Studios’ effort.

The Fantastic Flying Books celebrates the power of storytelling and the people who dedicatedly lend themselves to the immortality of stories in books, returning both the favor for each in unexpected forms. Dystopic and humorous, The Fantastic Flying Books begins after a horrible hurricane destroyed a town which whirled its citizens to a new reality including Mr. Lessmore. Bewildered by the event. he walked over the barren to find flying books and an empty library for which he chose to maintain until he ages.

Narrated with no dialogue and done in various forms of animation (computer graphics, stop-motion, small caricatures and 2D), the lives of Mr. Lessmore is told in 15 minutes by Joyce and Oldenburg in a fashion that reminiscent of earlier stories told by our grandparents completely dashed with life by William Joyce’s colorful and at times moving musical score.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is said to be inspired by The Wizard of Oz, Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton and the directors love of literature. Joyce and Oldenburg are both from Louisiana where the short film was entirely shot.

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A Story About a Misstep in Take This Waltz (Trailer)

“Sometimes I’m walking along the street and a shaft of sunlight falls in a certain way across the pavement and I just wanna cry. And a second later it’s over. And I decide because I am an adult to not succumb to the momentary melancholy, and I felt that sometimes with Tony.”  

This wordy excerpt is from Sara Polly’s sophomore feature Take This Waltz, taken from the famous Leonard Cohen song of the same title.

Soundtracked by Jane Grant (“Parachutes”), the trailer sparingly shows the story surrounding the life of Margot, a 28-year old journalist who felt overshadowed by her still young marriage of five years to Lou (Seth Rogen). Was vibrant and free spirited, Margot finds the company of Daniel (Luke Kirby) a distraction from the complacency of her life due to the latter’s resemblance of how she was pre-married life. What follows is a string of events that requires Margot to deal with the trappings of her commitment and her own desires.

With Williams delivering a natural take on Margot’s idealistic and daring nature, Take The Waltz gleams in its cast-down cinematography and darkened lighting, not to mention a promise of lengthy ruminations from the lead character. The film opens June 2012.

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Weekend and the Days Spent After

You cannot really fault Russel for being suffocated at a married friend’s party. These people he grew up with, especially Jamie who has been his bestfriend since 12 when they were both moving from an orphanage to the next, are talking about children parties and strippers. The latter would be appealing, only if Russel were straight. Or the former, if he had kids. He skips the night-cap and sneak into a gay bar hoping for a good Friday night lay. He meets Glen, a confident and at times too brusque to be true art gallery worker who tapes his one night stand partners for a narrative art project that would, in his views, challenge media brainwashing of isolating homosexuals and would too provide personal realizations (to the speaker, and would be listeners) on the characters we make up to get laid which ultimately show what stops us from being that person ourselves. All that by stating the carnality of a night which according to Russel is a collection of ‘dirty talk.”

In Andrew Haigh’s Weekend, we meet two people both at the crossroads of something we can safely bet as existential crisis. Russel (Tom Cullen), shy, charming and “fine” does his routine well. His kitchen is with thrift shop antique cups and well-varnished cupboards, neat cut-outs of portraits adorn his abode with order that would seem odd for a twenty-something single who is supposed to spend not much time at home. “I am fine when I am home, “ he states. He works as a lifeguard and is not out to his colleagues. It seems that he fills up his days jumping over a fence beyond his height to see what it is like to be in the open. In an instance, he looks at the two men guests, while in his job, with wonder and notice. Glen (Chris New), on the other hand, is idealistic and reluctant of intimacy, “I don’t do boyfriends”, he quips. His hesitation for a relationship, later revealed in the film, is due to a fallen, betrayed relationship and his impending two days away departure to Portland for an art course. He walks clenched fist with regards to his homosexuality and can spit fire to straight people on how the whole industry is buoyed up in support of their kind. Living with a straight female roommate, Glen is carefree and daring, and unlike Russell who is satisfied living in Nottingham, Glen sees it as a place to stay in a rut.

“I Don’t Want Love” by The Antlers 

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